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Maintenance of Abandoned Properties in Foreclosure

As discussed in Title Talk No. 89 (Summer 2014) the Legislature has enacted P.L. 2014, c. 5 (eff. July 15, 2014), amending N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51, which imposes certain duties upon lenders seeking to foreclosure mortgages encumbering abandoned properties. This has been supplemented by P.L. 2014, c. 35 (eff. Aug. 15, 2014), which enacts N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12s, authorizing municipalities to adopt ordinances to “regulate the care, maintenance, security and upkeep of the exterior of vacant or abandoned residential properties” for which a foreclosure action has been commenced. Such an ordinance must provide that an out-of-state mortgage lender supply contact information for its representative or agent located within New Jersey. An out-of-state lender  which  fails  to  comply  is  subject  to  a  fine  of $2500.00 per day. The fine imposed for failure to cure a violation for which a notice of same has been issued is fixed at $1500.00 per day.

The law also amends N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73 (which permits summary actions to foreclose mortgages on vacant properties) in order to expand the definition of “vacant and abandoned” to include property where a notice of violation has been issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12s (discussed above). For more information about N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73, see Title Talk No. 83 (Winter 2012-13).


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